I'm shooting for Girlfriend of the Year - or so it would seem! I needed an excuse to get out of the house, and bringing the boy his lunch at work seemed like an excellent excuse to see him and get some exercise.
So how's this for a bicycle-delivered lunch? We have a warm roasted pear stuffed with gorgonzola and broiled to gooey-ness, alongside lamb's lettuce and baby greens dressed with a balsamic shallot vinagrette and freshly crisped bacon. And because he feared that would not be quite enough to get him through the day, in the back is a tupperware of vegan (no eggs!) yam-sage gnocchi simply dressed in some olive oil and herbs from the garden.
Now, before you get the impression that this was a lot of work, the salad is leftover from last night - I just had to rewarm the pear, toss fresh greens in leftover vinagrette, and brown some bacon. The gnocchi is from a huge batch we made about two weeks ago. We froze leftovers and then bagged them up in individual portions so that we could have instant dinner whenever we needed.
By the time I'd put it all together, I was heartily wishing I hadn't been such a pig and insisted on eating my leftover pear last night - as dessert with my pinot noir. Oh well. We'll definitely be making this salad again, especially when autumn arrives. And just for you, here's the recipe below:
Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Bacon:
Pears (1/2 pear per salad), cut in half, cores removed
1-2 Tbl. butter
Gorgonzola cheese (figure 1/2 oz - max - per salad)
Greens - arugula, lamb's lettuce, spring mix, whatever you like! (we even included some romaine last night!) - two generous handfuls per salad
Bacon, 1-2 slices per salad.
For Shallot-Balsamic Vinagrette:
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinager
1 medium shallot, minced very fine (use a food processor if you'd like)
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cut bacon into bite-sized chunks, and brown over med-low heat in a heavy saucepan, about 15-20 min. Drain on paper towels when done to remove excess oil.
While bacon is cooking, melt butter in another heavy saucepan. Add pears, cut side down, and cook over medium heat until browned, about 10-15 min. When pears are brown, place on a baking sheet or roasting pan, cut side up. Sprinkle pears with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake until tender - times vary, ours only took 5-10 min.
Meanwhile, make vinagrette: whisk all ingredients together in a mason jar or tall glass until combined and thick.
When pears are tender, remove from oven. Turn on broiler. Stuff approximately 1/2 oz of gorgonzola cheese into the hole from each pear's core. Place pears under broiler until cheese is melty - approximately 2-3 min.
To serve, place greens in a large bowl. Add 1 - 2 Tbl. dressing and toss by hand to coat. Use more dressing only if needed - this will keep the salad light and the flavour of the greens will come through. Add bacon bits and toss again. Place one pear half on each plate and mound greens beside it.
this recipe only slightly adapted from Gordon Hammersley's "Bistro Cooking at Home," perhaps my all-time very most favorite cookbook ever.